«Today, test tube very proudly presents 'Country at the River of Friendship', an album by Fraufraulein. For me, this was one of the most anticipated releases of this year. Before presenting the duo that makes Fraufraulein what it is, I'll tell you how I came to know their music: Months ago, at the beginning of 2007, we accepted a submission by this new yorker guy named Billy Gomberg. When Billy gave me the url to his page at Fraufraulein's website I got curious, and became interested in knowing what Fraufraulein was all about. Right after listening to one of the pieces hosted there - actually, during listening - I became amazed and overwhelmed by the dramatic density that Fraufraulein's improvisations carry with them. I just felt and knew that more people had to get into this, so, I immediately contacted Billy and asked him if he wanted to do a Fraufraulein's release. I even made a pre-selection with a couple of pieces for a possible release. Billy liked the idea and went to contact Anne Guthrie - the second member of Fraufraulein's duo - to get her approval. Along with the pieces I chose, Anne and Billy threw in a couple more and remastered the set. The result of this is 'Country at the River of Friendship'.
Well, now you already know Billy from tube086, or at least you should because he has a very solid electro-acoustic release there. But Anne Guthrie is probably new to test tube fans, so a proper presentation is in order. I personally didn't knew anything about her, but a google search pointed me to the very respectful Stasisfield label, which incidentaly has a very good short bio of Anne. Here's a snippet taken from there: «Born 1983 Minneapolis, Minnesota. BA in English and a BMus in Composition, University of Iowa, May 2005. Studied French horn with Jeffrey Agrell, and Composition with Amelia Kaplan, David Gompper, and Lawrence Fritts. Studied composition with Michael Young at Goldsmith's college in London, Fall 2003. Currently, Anne is the Managing Director of the S.E.M. Ensemble in Brooklyn. (...) Anne's electronic works focus on field recordings that exploit the natural resonance of unique architectural spaces. These recordings are subject to light filtering processes to further emphasize the resonant frequencies of the space.» You can also find there her excellent release 'Conservatoire'.
So, then... what should we expect from a Fraufraulein's release? Short answer: Improvised Modern Contemporary Music. But there's more, of course. Anne and Billy - besides playing French Horn and Synthesizers, respectively their main instruments of choice - use dozens of instruments and various objects and sound sources which they gently manipulate and layer in blissfully resonant improvisations. Some of this instruments include: Harmonicas, Melodica, Knabe Upright Piano, Circuitbent Speak & Read, Electrix WarpFactory, Thumb Piano, Fluorescent Light, Electric Organ, Recorder, Flute, Snare Drum, Glass, Thread, Toy Piano, Bass Guitar, Acoustic Guitar and various microphones. That's a lot of different sounds to play with! Without further due, I'll let Fraufraulein's music speak for herself. Download this, pick yourself a good set of closed-casket headphones and enjoy.» - Pedro Leitão